ST DAVID’S Hospice Care charity shop manager Jane Ferguson has spoken of her anger and devastation after confronting the blood splattered aftermath of a break-in at the town centre store.

Mrs Ferguson, from Chepstow, who helps manage the charity shop in Caldicot was faced with a gory scene after opening up at 7.35am this morning.

She said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes. The sorting room, at the rear of the shop, had been completely turned upside down. Everything in there was everywhere. There was blood on the floor and splattered on clothes and other bric-a-brac in the room.

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“Hammers and a screwdriver were abandoned next to the small safe, under a smashed up clothes rail, which they had wrecked but thankfully been unable to open."

Mrs Ferguson said the blood is believed to have been caused when a raider was injured breaking in.

She said: “I’m just pleased that neither I or anyone else came face to face with whoever it was that caused such devastation in our lovely shop.”

Fellow manager Charmaine Fuller, of Newport, who has worked at the St David’s Hospice Care shop for 19 years, said: “It’s unbelievable that anyone would target a charity shop such as ours-that supports their local community and people at the ends of their lives."

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The shop was forced to remain closed, despite a stream of potential customers arriving and knocking on the shutters, as police carried out scenes of crime forensic tests.

Mrs Fuller, holding back tears, said: "The community in Caldicot have been great. They have rallied round to offer help and support. We’re determined not to let this set back affect us in any way. We just want the shop back up and running again as soon as we can to support our community and also St David’s Hospice Care.”

The break in is estimated to have cost thousands of pounds in terms of damage caused to a fire door, the safe, the sorting room and lost takings. A total of 25 unpaid volunteers work 150 hours a week at the charity shop.

St David’s Hospice Care Deputy Chief Executive Adrian Hadley, expressing his disgust at the break in, said: “Caldicot is our flagship shop. It is very well supported by the local community.

“I struggle to comprehend the mentality of a person or people who can target a charity shop such as ours in this way. It’s certainly a setback but one which we will overcome.”

In a statement, Gwent Police said: "At approximately 7.45am this morning we received reports of a break-in at a business premises in Newport Road, Caldicot, believed to have taken place during the night.

"Offenders had gained access by forcing open an upstairs fire exit to the rear of the building. No items were taken but minor damage was caused to property.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwent Police on 101, quoting log 82 of 10/5/19."